Big news coming…little news HERE !

Grab a cup of coffee, I’m on my third, this one is a catch up long in coming…

After a week of storms, and a Friday the 13th wherein another storm featured prominently…especially, but not exclusively, the part wherein Anita, the wonderful helper at Snyder’s Sew and Vac, exclaimed that the torrential deluge, which we were all marveling at through the shop window, was POURING in to some poor fools’ open truck windows…yep, that’d be me…

anyway back to the point of entry…the stormy week…

has passed and this morning dawns cool and clear and absolutely blissful. An early walk around the garden reveals that the infant veggies have pulled off their raincoats and are quite ready to get back to the business of growing. Snow peas didn’t need no stinking slickers…they just kept right on and the first real batch was plucked into my t-shirt.

Then I walked under the arbor and was thrilled to see that we actually, after five or six years of waiting, have something resembling a real concord grape ! You will notice the avian anti-theft devices twirling in the background which seem to work just dandy to have kept the hungry spring beaks from plucking away the all important, and yes probably tasty, buds. Look hard, there are grapes there, dozens of clusters.


But seriously, the main event, for which I interrupted Herself’s bowl of cereal to insist she run to see…

cherry picked

MIMA’s Sour Cherry tree,  “Sweet Lorraine”, has…or make that had…the first crop of sour cherries to bless this garden. Last time I had looked, there were some tiny green bobbles and the other tree, which was loaded with blossoms had none…so I wasn’t keeping close watch. I love those kind of surprises and they happen every day here in June.

So…if my garden is producing ripe cherries, the orchard just over the hill should ? Some Ritz ready made and rolled pie crusts were added to Pat’s grocery list…just in case. And a very tiny scrap of dough will be ceremonially wrapped around the tinier handful of Mima’s sour cherries for the inaugural bake. Maybe I’ll freeze them so Zoe can taste. These trees are for her after all.

OK – do you remember me mentioning Anita ? I’ll swing back around to her in a minute.

First, if we can focus on the day job…painting…

The long season of longer days and well into the late nights, as I worked to put together the paintings for the Granary Gallery Show…which opens July 20th…was wrapped up this week with the last brush strokes, on the last painting. It felt like months of straight on brush lifting but when I looked back in my daily journal it was exactly one month to the day, of 12-16 hour daily sessions, begun on May 9th and completed on the 9th of June.

Just a couple glimpses here as I wait for Mr. Corcoran to do his photographic magic for the big reveal…

silly me close quarters details

The curve balls which were hurled at the studio over the winter do have me running about three weeks behind where I would like to be coming into the show season, and I have added an exciting adventure to the schedule …a real live show out in Santa Fe in October complete with the artiste in residence for the opening. More on that later…but keep your head up…that’s just the beginning.

The resulting creative intensity has correspondingly been escalating around here. And I have promised Herself and Myself to slow down enough to enjoy each other and every garden grace, and all the other mischief that my hands enjoy getting up to while they still can.
After watching the latest episode of PBS’s Craft in America, speaking of treasures, I have been studying the quilts made by the women of Gee’s Bend.( Here’s quick link, Quilts of Gee’s Bend but you can all do your own googling and I encourage you to dip away.) They are glorious, spectacular, and humbling works of art and the works by Joe Cunningham, who was featured on the show…mind blowing.

Like that…I have to quilt. No, I didn’t drag out any of the three or four projects “in progress”. Those bags are for later. I am too suggestible and, after seeing a tiny photo of some new fabric which Kaffe Fassett has produced, I ordered a fat bundle. You can see it in the background here but stop and smell my garden roses along the way.
gees bend

Quick trip to Intercourse…no, the village in Amish country north of Lancaster, to the quilt mecca shop, somewhat disappointing as they had none of the notions I was there to collect. It’s just not the same when you have to order a tiny thimble online…but nothing, not even those storms…can stand in the way of this, my latest, obsession, which was held frothing in the starting gates until…the last brush stroke…AND my beloved and I had a wonderful day together, which is after all at the top of the list.

As Joe C. describes in the show, most of the time he has no idea where his quilt compositions will end up. That artistic license is essential to the creative process and it was important, for me, to be reminded of that. Seeing  the free form quilts that he and the ladies have sewn, has passed down the “permission” to let loose.

No need for tedious marking and measuring and fussing over precision corners. The stitches should come from the heart. The color should pour from the soul.

My studio loft is the perfect nest for fiber arts and I was happily flying through the piecing stage..


until…the machine froze up.

And this brings us back…again…to Anita ! And Edith !

anita and edith

My newest angels, who are standing behind the fancy new machine which I went home with …in the middle of that storm. I googled “help my sewing machine is broken” and found Snyder’s Sew and Vac.

They all provided me with the best shopping experience I’ve had in this town in years, complete with plastic bags to cover those soaking truck seats (thank you John for that and all your good advice !).  I love working with humans who know their stuff and when you thrown kindness and a good sense of humor in the mix…customer for life !

Now a new morning has dawned. The gremlins who taunted me yesterday are dismissed. The skies are clear, the cherries are ripe, the paint is drying, I’m one lucky woman and…your coffee is probably cold.

It’s time to get to work and every which way I turn there is something fun to get my hands into. I hope that is true for you as well.

And that big news… yep it’s coming. Stay tuned, stay frosty and live it large.